The populations of most countries are in the process of growing older. Thus, in the United States, the percentage of the population between 45 and 64 increased from 22.0% to 26.4% of the total between 2000 and 2010, and the percentage above age 65 increased from 12.4% to 13.0%. From 1960 to 2010, the median age increased from 29.5 to 37.2; it is expected to reach 42 by 2030. According to the Pew Research Center, the nation’s elderly population is expected to more than double in size between 2005 and 2050. This demographic tidal wave (or perhaps it’s just an inexorably rising sea) will not only be a strain on resources, but will also affect the character of life in years to come.
This blog is aimed at exploring themes related to the ages from mid-life through old age. Many of the issues discussed have been talked and written about for centuries: What is it like to age? How can we best deal with the losses that accompany the aging process? How and why do our relationships with others change? What are the sources of meaning that nourish us as we grow older? How does the approach of death affect us? Other issues unfold from the current zeitgeist: What role do older workers have in a rapidly changing economy? What is it like to be a member of the sandwich generation? How will longer life-spans of the elderly affect the lives of their children? What sort of living arrangements best suit the elderly? Will the forecasts of increased generational conflict prove accurate? Are we best served by extending our life spans as long as possible? How will the marked increase of dementia affect society, families, and those experiencing symptoms?
I am a clinical psychologist by training, and will take a psychological perspective on many issues. I don’t plan for this blog to be merely a reflection of my views, however. I intend to seek out and present a variety of perspectives. Though other sites are better than I could hope to be at pointing to products and services for those in mid- and late-adulthood, I will from time to time mention these as well. I do welcome contributions from others interested in the second half of life; I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.